ERI Recommended for Special Consultative Status at the UN


On Monday, May 21, Edmund Rice International appeared before the Committee on NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) to request Consultative Status at the United Nations. Kevin Cawley represented ERI at the meeting. At 12:52 pm, the committee approved the application and  Mr. Joop Theunissen, Deputy Chair of the Committee, offered Kevin his congratulations with the salutation: “Welcome to the United Nations.”

The recommendation of the Committee must still be approved at a full meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July but that is expected to be a formality.

What is the significance of this decision for Edmund Rice International?
The implications are far reaching; the challenges equally so.  ERI  can now take its place in all deliberations at the civil society level of the United Nations.  We can deliver a point of view and invoke important gospel values as the member states deliberate, decide, recommend and inform.  We can affix our name to significant documents outlining concerns on the issues raised in our Chapters around human rights, the rights of the child, the right to education and care of the earth.  We can ask important questions and form partnerships with like minded organizations to bring pressure to bear on states and alliances whose respect for persons has been compromised.  In particular we can bring the learnings of the UN agencies and its global perspective to the wider Edmund Rice network and thereby strengthen the charism with new insights and renewed vitality for the works of justice and advocacy.

This recognition is something that has been sought for several years and is a significant step forward for ERI. Apart from opening the way for participation in a broader range of UN activities ECOSOC status enhances our profile within the international community and enables ERI to accredit its own personnel to attend the UN. Up until now ERI has only been able to do so through the generosity of our partner organisations.

– Thanks to Kevin Cawley cfc for the content of this article
Photo shows a ECOSOC High level meeting in progress. (UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)
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